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Should India pick Kuldeep for the first Test?

November 14, 2017 15:20 IST

Will India pick three spinners? Or will they play an extra fast bowler, asks Harish Kotian.
Play Selector and help Captain Virat Kohli and Coach Ravi Shastri pick the Indian team for the first Test against Sri Lanka, which starts in Kolkata on Thursday.

IMAGE: Kuldeep Yadav, right, bowls in the nets in Kolkata on Monday, November 13, as Ravichandran Ashwin looks on. Photograph: BCCI

After a successful run in limited overs cricket, India will look to continue the momentum in Tests when they take on Sri Lanka in a three Test series.

 

The Eden Gardens Test will mark Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja's return to the action after the spinners were ignored for the limited overs games.

Equally exciting will be the inclusion of 'Chinaman' spinner Kuldeep Yadav who has been impressive in ODIs and T20Is.

With all-rounder Hardik Pandya rested for the Sri Lankan series, India could play all three spinners; they are all capable of contributing with the bat.

Pacers Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav too will make it back to the playing eleven after being kept out of the limited overs games.

With the Eden Gardens pitch expected to provide some help to the seamers, India could include Bhuvneshwar Kumar as the third fast bowler ahead of the experienced Ishant Sharma.

Shikhar Dhawan is likely to retain his place at the top after hitting two centuries in Sri Lanka, but the other opener's spot is a toss up between Murali Vijay and K L Rahul.

Rahul has hit fifties in his last seven Test innings. The experienced Vijay, who has been battling injuries and missed the series in Sri Lanka in July-August, warmed up with a cracking 140 against Odisha.

Since losing to Sri Lanka in August 2015 when they failed to chase down 176, India have won 20 out of 26 Tests, losing just one game enroute to registering eight consecutive Test series victories.

The last time India played Sri Lanka, the away series resulted in a 3-0 whitewash for Virat Kohli's side.

Should India play Kuldeep or Bhuvi?

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Harish Kotian